Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ogden Ethics Project Candidate Checklist Clarification

At risk of over-simplifying the issues here, we've boiled it all down

We received the following missive this morning from Ogden Ethics Project Director Dan Schroeder, augmenting the info provided in Monday's Ogden Ethics Project press release:
On Monday I sent a press release summarizing candidate responses to inquiries from the Ogden Ethics Project, Regarding our Voluntary Contribution Limitations Checklist. The press release gave only a general summary of the range of responses, without using candidates' names. We waited to release the details for a variety of reasons, but they're available now, linked from the "resources" page on our web site:

Be sure to read the disclaimers!

Dan Schroeder, director
At risk of over-simplifying the issues here, we've boiled it all down; and here are the checklists from the 11 candidates who "neither hemmed nor hawed" (on the ethics issues set forth in what your blogmeister considers to be five fairly straightforward queries), and who in apparent honesty and good faith returned the checklists with the appropriate boxes filled in:

Mayor's Race:
Mike Caldwell
Brandon Stephenson
Susan Van Hooser
Steven Van Wagoner*

Council At Large Seat "C"
Jacob Culliton*
Landon Halverson
Stephen D. Thompson
Amy L. Wicks*

Council Ward 2
Jennifer Neil*
C. Jon White*

Council Ward 4
Caitlin Gochnour*

Within the above group of eleven, only six of them however, namely candidates Culliton, Wicks, Neil, White, Gochnour and Van Wagoner, were willing to check all the boxes and pledge to adopt the highest ethical standards. The bulk of the rest either bristled at the concept of refusing corporate or other non-individual campaign donations, or otherwise and in separate "position statements" obfuscated and/or found philosophical "angels on the heads of pins" with regard to these issues... as far as we're concerned. Of course candidates Hyer, Hansen and Wallis didn't even bother to respond in any manner at all, a course of non-action which some cynics might interpret as indicative of the low level of attention which they might also devote to their public offices, if elected to the respective Mayoral and Council seats which they seek.

That's our take and we're stickin' with it.

So who will be the first to comment about these most recent developments?
*Candidates who checked all five boxes.


Logician said...

Damn, it would be be fun watching all of you Weber County Forum-ites endorse an inept candidate like VanWagoner for mayor since he’s the only mayoral candidate willing to “pledge to adopt the highest ethical standards.” But since it’s clear most WCF lurkers are staunch supporters of VanHooser & Hansen (according to the WCF’s own poll), I guess I’ll just have to settle for watching all of you “obfuscate and/or [find] philosophical ‘angels on the heads of pins’ with regard to [this] issue” and tell me why, when Susie checked fewer boxes than either Caldwell or Stephenson, she is the more ethical candidate. Your absurdity makes me smile.

rudizink said...

LOL.  We're merely interpreting one single data set out of many.  I'd calculate the chances of WCF ultimately  endorsing Van Wagoner over Van Hooser as mathematically slim to none, if that makes you feel better...

Ethicist said...

The most logical choice for mayor is Thompson, who's accepting no campaign contributions at all!

rudizink said...

Hey waittaminute!  You're now an ethicist; not a logician.

Logician said...

Rudi, I love when you pretend to I.D. people like that. But we all know you can look at the ISP that is posting and you know damn well that I didn't post as "Ethicist." But nice try. :)

Logician said...

Sorry to disagree, "Ethicist," but part of being the "logical" choice for mayor involves the realities of politics in 2011. Thompson may be the most "ethical" or "pure" or "down-to-earth," but reality says that any political candidate without funding will never stand a logical chance of winning. Nice guy, though. Glad he's a part of Ogden.

Angelo Roma said...

Part of me wishes I hadn't moved away.  I was living in Ward 4 and the idea of Gochnour running unopposed really rustles my jimmies.  I'd have run again.

rudizink said...

LOL!  Just havin' a little fun; )and you're right; I coulda looked it up.)

And remember... WCF is supposed to be about 50% educational... and 50% fun.

Logician said...

Not sure your 50/50 statement is entirely clear anywhere on your site. I know I, for one, have always looked at WCF as more of a 90% entertainment/10% information paradigm, but you're the boss. :)

Bob Becker said...

I think the Ethics group list of points is a good one.  But having watched various efforts in national and state politics to get candidates to sign pledges in advance of election, and the often unfortunate consequences, I'm not sure I'd demand conformity on all issues in the document, and no exceptions of any candidate.  I'd want to look at why a candidate was uncomfortable about agreeing to this or that element of the document. 

Those willing to sign on to the document, in whole or part, and to  explain their decisions, though, deserve I think a few points over those who either entirely refused or who simply couldn't be bothered.  Put more generally, I'm more likely to give a candidate a serious look who took the ethics document seriously  [whether they endorsed it all or not] than those who  couldn't be bothered. 

As Rudi noted above, a lot of factors need to be considered in deciding which of our gaggle of candidates this time should be supported.   I've never been much of a single-issue voter.  In the end, I have to decide on balance which of the candidates I think is most likely to be the best Mayor for Ogden.  And so far, there's not a single candidate who's had the wit and good judgment to agree with me on every issue.  [Hard to believe, I know, but there it is....]  Many things to weigh in the balance for all of them I'm looking at seriously.  Many things, of which their stand on the Ethics questionnaire is but one.  An important one, but still, one. 

Logician said...

And so begins the "obfuscation and/or philosophical ‘angels on the heads of pins’ with regard to [this] issue." Had VanHooser checked all 5 boxes and other candidates checked fewer, this conversation about wit, balance, judgment, etc. would never be happening. We'd only be talking about how much more "Sensible, Open, Unified Leadership" would be possible from VanHooser. A nice alignment with the branding of 4 years ago that is being regurgitated on the signs pulled out of a storage unit somewhere. But the fact is, she checked fewer than Stephenson and Caldwell and WCF lurkers are suddenly left to adopt reason and rationalized arguments. Like I guys crack me up. :)

Bob Becker said...

Interesting how you leap to conclusions based on long distance mind reading with precisely no information regarding the person whose mind you claim to be reading.

As it happens, there is at the moment no candidate's sign in my front yard.  I have not yet decided.   There are three candidates I am looking at seriously at this point.  And what I posted above would have been posted, in precisely the same terms, if Councilwoman Van Hooser had checked all five boxes, or four or two or none.  

Your comments would be more appropriate if you delivered them in a pointed hat and a glittering robe in a carny tent peering into a crystal ball.   And as accurate. 

Logician said...

And you assume I WASN'T wearing a pointed hat, a glittering robe and sitting in a carny tent peering into a crystal ball. You make assumptions. I make assumptions. It's what we all do here on anonymous forums like this. Why are my assumptions more of a reach than yours? Why are they less accurate?

Bob Becker said...

Yes. I assumed you did not derive your comment by sitting in a carny tent in a pointed hat gazing into a crystal ball. If you are now confessing that is how you derived them, I'll concede your point . If not, not.

The points I made in my original post that you took exception to are, I think, valid ones. They apply to all the candidates regardless of how any one of them responded to the Ethics questionnaire.

rudizink said...

" guys crack me up. :)"

We crack OURSELVES up, heheheh...

Ozboy said...

I find the following from Mr. Stephenson's long lecture on ethics very interesting:

"......this type of thinking is at the core of Ogden's past economic difficulty of not being able to
attract business to our community. and
Businesses are the life blood of any healthy and vibrant community. Businesses bring jobs, which sustain
our population. Businesses bring activity and interest into our community. Businesses balance our service
and tax levels with the taxes they pay, invest in the arts and entertainment and invest in our
neighborhoods and schools. We must be actively creating an atmosphere in Ogden where businesses can
thrive, make money and be successful"

For starters I find it interesting that Stephenson has the arrogance to lecture on ethics in government when he has so little of it him self.  

Second and more to the point it appears that Stephenson fully admits that the twelve years of Godfrey's administration has been completely disasterous and incompetent in attracting business, and that they have been decidedly unfriendly toward businesses.  This of course is true, but rather bizarre that Godfrey's number one sycophant and booster, who has voted for virtually all of Godfrey's many incompetent boondoggles and money losing schemes, and who wants to continue Godfrey's programs and incompetence, would be so inept as to point these grevious failings out.

Ozboy said...


Your superiority complex cracks me up :)

It is good to have some new and intelligent input on this blog.  I look forward to more exchanges between you and our resident brainiac Mr. Curmudgeon.  It would make for some great thought provoking fodder for the old WCF grist mill.

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